Friday, March 11, 2011

Catullus, Poem 23

Gaius Valerius Catullus
84-54 BCE (over 2,000 years ago)
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Golden Age)

Furi, cui neque servus est neque arca/nec cimex neque araneus neque ignis/verum est et pater et noverca, quorum/dentes vel silicem comesse possunt/est pulcre tibi cum tuo parente/et cum coniuge lignea parentis.
(Furius, to whom belongs neither slave, nor safe, nor bedbugs, nor cobweb, nor hearth; in truth, they belong to your father and stepmother, whose teeth can light flint; it goes nicely for you, alongside both your parent and with his wooden wife;)

nec mirum:
(No wonder:)

bene nam valetis omnes/pulcre concoquitur, nihil timetis/non incendia, non graves ruinas/non facta impia, non dolos veneni/non casus alios pericolorum.
(Really, you all are doing quite well for yourselves; you dine together in fashion; never do you fear fires, or grave destruction, or ill deeds, or poisonings, or other dangerous accidents;)

atque corpora sicciora cornu/aut siquid magis aridum est habetis/sole et frigore et esuritione.
(And you have bodies drier than horn, or if anything else drier than that exists, in the sun and the cold and starvation;)

quare non tibi sit bene ac beate?
(Doesn't it go swimmingly and beautifully for you?)

a te sudor abest, abest saliva/mucusque et mala pituita nasi.
(There's no sweat from you, there's no spit, and the mucus and snivellings of your nose;)

hanc ad munditiem adde mundiorem/quod culus tibi purior salillo est/nec toto decies cacas in anno;
(Add more boredom to this boredom, since that asshole of yours is cleaner than a salt-dish, and there has been ten shittings for you in a whole year;)

atque id durius est faba et lapillis/quod tu si manibus teras fricesque/non umquam digitum inquinare posses.
(And it is even heavier than a fava bean and small pebbles, one which, should you wipe it with your hands, you would never sully your finger;)

haec tu commoda tam beata, Furi/noli spernere nec putare parvi/et sestertia quae soles precari/centum desine:
(Don't spurn such blessed advantages, Furius, nor think yourself on such meager terms, and quit begging for the six hundred sestertii to which you are accustomed:)

nam sat est beatus.
(You see, you are blessed enough.)